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Bitter Melon Salad {Chinese Liang Ban Ku Gua}

by Shirley
Published: Last Updated on
Bitter Melon Salad Chinese Style

Bitter Melon Salad Chinese Style Liang Ban Ku Gua {凉拌苦瓜} is a well-liked, refreshing and tasty dish. It features Bitter Melon prepared and blanched first and then mixed with a tasty garlic vinegar sauce. Goji berries add a hint of sweetness and contrast color. A splash of sesame oil elevates the flavor and taste. Such a perfect way to enjoy this super nutritious gourd.

Bitter Melon Salad Chinese Style

Bitter Melon Fun Facts

Bitter Melon is a gourd native to many locations around the globe, and is especially popular in areas such as Southern China Guang Dong area, India and Vietnam. The gourd gets its name from its taste.

In China’s Guang Dong area, people usually call them “cooling melon” {Liang Gua 凉瓜} instead of “bitter melon” {Ku Gua 苦瓜} for a more upbeat connotation. This is because “Ku” {苦} in Chinese is also associated with hardship or misery.

Cantonese call them “cooling melon” for good reasons, as TCM {Traditional Chinese Medicine} believes that bitter melon can help calm and clarify our internal systems.

Bitter Melon Growing on the Vine in our garden
Bitter Melon Growing on the Vine in our garden

Bitter Melon Health Benefits

They are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, potassium, zinc and iron. It worth mentioning that Bitter Melon contains loads of Vitamin C.

Especially, Bitter Melon is well-known for its ability to lower blood sugar. For that reason, people consider bitter melon an alternative medicine to treat diabetes-related conditions.

They are a must-grow vegetable in our backyard vegetable garden every year. Depending on the species, sometime we have pale green gourd that has a bumpy skin, or a bright jade gourd that has a relatively smooth skin, which is a typical Chinese Bitter Melon.

Home Garden Bitter Melon
Home Garden Bitter Melon

How to reduce bitterness of Bitter Melon for cooking?

Despite the unique looks, all bitter melons taste similar. However, the level and intensity of bitterness may vary. If you’d like to reduce the bitterness of bitter melon, check out the detailed guide of reducing bitterness of bitter melon using practical, traditional ways.

how to reduce bitterness of bitter melon

Bitter Melon Recipes

Try these tasty and healthy Bitter Melon Recipes, perfect ways to enjoy this super healthy and nutriouts gourd.

Food featuring Bitter Melon
Food featuring Bitter Melon
Bitter Melon Salad Chinese Style

Bitter Melon Salad {Chinese Style 凉拌苦瓜}

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Bitter Melon Salad Chinese Style Liang Ban Ku Gua {凉拌苦瓜} is a well-liked, refreshing and tasty dish. A perfect way to enjoy this super nutritious gourd.

Ingredients

  • 1 bitter melon, around 6 oz.
  • 1/16 tsp Himalayan pink salt, {additional 1/2 tsp for marinating bitter melon}
  • 1 tbsp Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar, for blanching

For Salad Dressing:

  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cane sugar, organic preferred

Instructions

  1. Gather ingredients. Add everything under "For Salad Dressing" in a small bowl and mix well. Soak Goji berries in a small bowl in warm water.
    Bitter Melon Salad Ingredients
  2. Fill a 4-Qt stockpot with about 75% water and bring it to a boil, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. While waiting on the water, prepare the bitter melon. Wash and rinse bitter melon well. Trim both ends off, and then cut Bitter Melon vertically and remove the seeds and pith thoroughly using hands with the help of a small spoon.
    Remove the pith of bitter melon
  4. Sprinkle salt, either Himalayan Pink Salt or sea salt, over the open Bitter Melon chamber. Rub the salt into the Bitter Melon alongside the chamber. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
    Marinate Bitter Melon with Salt
  5. Following 10 minutes marinating the bitter melon, place the Bitter Melon in a large wash basin filled with cold water, and have a good scrub inside the Bitter Melon chamber. Wash and rinse well to get rid of the extra salt and the bitter juice forced out.
  6. Cut the bitter melon into thin slices, either using knife or a Mandoline slicer.
    Cut Bitter Melon into thin slices using a Mandoline Slicer
  7. When the water reaches a boil, add 1/4 cup white vinegar along with the bitter melon slices and wait for it to reach boil again.
    Blanch bitter melon slices
  8. Remove the Bitter Melon from the pot using a skimmer and place into a stainless steel colander. Rinse bitter melon under the running cold water for about 30 seconds and then place them in a deep bowl or mixing bowl. Pour the salad dressing over bitter melon and mix well using a pair of wooden spatulas.
    Bitter Melon Salad {Chinese Style}
  9. Drain the Goji berries and add to the salad. Fold and mix well.
  10. All done! Enjoy a refreshing tasty and healthy dish.
    Bitter Melon {Chinese Style Liang Ban Ku Gua}

Notes

  • A compact food processor is handy to help mince the garlic.
    Minced Garlic Using a Compact Food Processor

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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